Another day, another fashion house loses a designer — or in Monday's case, two designers. Carven's co-artistic directors Alexis Martial and Adrien Caillaudaud have both parted ways with the French brand after just four seasons in a "mutual agreement," according to a release sent out Monday. They joined in 2015, replacing Guillaume Henry, who had decamped to Nina Ricci.
Over the course of Henry's five-year tenure, the designer transformed Carven from a sleepy old couture house into an exciting, hip, commercially successful brand. Women in search of a certain casually feminine aesthetic at a fairly reasonable price point went crazy for it. When he left, Martial and Caillaudaud were tasked with keeping the momentum going, and that can be more difficult than it sounds.
Martial and Caillaudaud met at the Atelier Chardon Savard fashion school in Paris and worked together briefly at Givenchy. Before joining Carven, Martial was the creative director of Iceberg after holding the same role at Paco Rabanne. Meanwhile, Caillaudaud focused on accessories at Givenchy and, before that, at Marc Jacobs. Together, they took Carven in a slightly edgier direction while still occasionally working to incorporate elements of the brand's couture legacy. While they've produced plenty of commercially viable pieces, their collections never quite inspired the same level of obsession that Henry's often would.
As we've said before, it's a tough time for fashion right now, with many of the industry's biggest brands installing proverbial revolving doors as they try to figure out what works. Carven says it will appoint a new creative director at "a later point."
This article was updated to include a statement provided by the brand.